Runner Up of New Action Center of the Year 2009 - New York
NOMINEE : NEW YORK ACTION CENTER
- $ amount of revenue generated : $21K+
- # of active volunteers : 15 active at all times, 60 additional
- # of successful events : 17 (6 fundraiser and 11 awareness)
- # of media articles : 10+
Starting with the economic meltdown on Wall Street, we felt the direct impact on our volunteers, partners and sponsors.
In a geographically vast and culturally diverse demographics, offering the largest number of options/organizations in the country to connect with, finding volunteers was the first major challenge. Coupled with this was the fact that CRY had hardly been known even to the local Indian population. We started with tabling at local events and now we have steadily risen in strength and stature and have also spread the word about CRY in a big way.
Our launch event, more of a social mixer, was very well received by a diverse audience. In fact, an American student applied her philanthropic interests by celebrating her birthday at the event. With no seed money, we kept the costs minimal. Shortly afterwards, we enhanced the structure of this successful event by adding a musical group which also left a positive feel about the organization.
Within a week, we partnered with an entertainment group to reach out to the Indian community with a very successful Holi Hai!
Then came our first attempt at a shared and high investment event, which unfortunately did not go as planned. This setback instantly affected the morale of our volunteers. We were hard pressed to bring in another success, and soon.
CRY Children’s Fair, despite all its challenges proved to be the morale booster. The permit was granted 4 days before the event with no permission for vendors or for advertising/decorations on the park property. But we pulled off the event with more than 200 diverse attendees; media publicity in publications like Timeout NY, NY Times; and massive volunteer support including partnerships with organizations like NetIP. The NY Action Center was alive again.
The Fair served as lessons learnt for organizing outdoor events in NYC, particularly, the upcoming CRY Walk. We partnered with organizations like NY Road Runners and got the platinum sponsorship from Aetna. However, the entire week of the event predicted a very dismal weather forecast and the weather gods played spoilsport on the day of the Walk. Due to this, on-line fundraising and registrations were majorly impacted. However, the volunteers and some dedicated participants showed up in pouring rain.
We showed our presence or participated in 11 other events to promote CRY. The major ones being the 5-boro bike tour, Film screening for another non-profit, Diwali Mela, India Day Parade, Celebrity Dinner etc.
Overall, we had a satisfactory first year.